OER Digest – February 8th, 2018

From Katie Steen (SPARC) | Volume 50 | February 8, 2018 

With updates from Matt Ruen


Your bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders

WA STUDENTS HAVE SPOKEN: 10,000 students across Washington’s 34 community and technical college were asked about the affordability of course materials. The responses showed that an alarming amount of students do not have access to the required course materials they need. 44% of students indicated that they have sometimes or often taken courses without the required materials due to the cost. Student respondents recommended that institutions use open educational resources to combat expensive materials.

OER APPROVED IN OH: Ohio State surveyed students and instructors in 12 courses across a diverse set of disciplines about their experience with OER and other low-cost materials. The survey found that students and faculty were generally pleased with the quality and experience of using open and affordable digital materials. According to David Mullins, Evaluation and Feedback Lead from ODEE, “The key to making learning affordable is focusing on high-quality OERs that enhance the educational experience for students in their courses.”

GEORGIA HITS MILESTONE: The University System of Georgia’s OER repository hit a milestone! Since its launch in 2016, the repository has clocked 100,000 full-text downloads.

STATE UPDATE: Thus far in 2018, there are 35 active K-12 and higher education bills in 14 states that impact OER or mention it directly. We’ve seen legislation filed that would positively impact OER and others that could have negative consequences. Stay tuned for updates on these bills as legislative sessions progress.

OEC ANNOUNCES NEW ED: On February 6th the Open Education Consortium announced its new Executive Director, Paul Stacey. Paul joins OEC after five years as Associate Director of Global Learning for Creative Commons. Prior to Creative Commons Paul helped found BCcampus in 2003 and led its open education initiative for nine years.



Upcoming Events, Proposal and Registration Deadlines, Report-Backs  

REGISTER: Registration is open for the Open Education Symposium hosted by  Florida State University Libraries on March 8th. Register here: https://www.lib.fsu.edu/events/open-education-symposium

SAVE THE DATE: The 15th Annual Open Education Conference (#OpenEd18) will be October 10-12, 2018 in Niagara Falls, NY.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Participate in Open Education Week (March 5-9) by submitting an event you’re hosting or an open resource to be featured on the OEW website. Submit by February 25th here: https://www.openeducationweek.org/page/call-for-participation


Quick snapshots of those making change on the ground level, and those impacted

FROM QUEBEC: “The OERs offer a way to relieve some of the financial burden of purchasing class materials on students,” Archer said. “It’s hard being a student. Within a single term you may even have $1,200 worth of textbooks, and making even a few of them available as OERs [can be] helpful.” Read more >>

FROM CALIFORNIA: “The main benefit is cost reduction,” said project director Jessica Scarffe. “Hancock has a high percentage of first-generation college students and a high percentage of low-income students. Removing textbook costs makes college more accessible and supports the college’s student equity effort.” Read more >>


Each edition, we’ll highlight an interesting, new, openly-licensed resource

Grand Valley State University has released Innovative Lessons Plans for Active Learning: Teaching Research and Evidence-Based Practice, a guide for instructors to create engaging classes on nursing research. Its sixteen chapters contain ideas for activities to supplement regular classroom instruction and any undergraduate textbook for the course. Watch the introductory video, and access the guide here.


Interesting Discussions and Strategic Reads to Repost or Share

Great to Share >>

OER reaches ‘inflection point,’ and states are leading the charge | EdScoop 


Open Education Resources Going Mainstream | MDR Education


Interesting to Consider >>

Provosts’ Views on Online Learning and OER | Inside Higher Ed


Amazon’s Newest Hire Could Have a Big Impact on Online Open Education Resources | In Cyberdefense


Opinion: Open Resources in an Age of Contingency | Inside Higher Ed


Why Students Are Still Spending So Much for College Textbooks | The Atlantic


Have suggestions for the next edition? Let us know at oerdigest@gmail.com, or tweet us @OERdigest.

The OER Digest is a public newsletter distributed to a broad group of stakeholders across the higher education community. You can join the open Google Group or check out the distribution list here.

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